UK government postpones consideration of online safety law

·1-min read
The Union Jack flag is flown outside the Houses of Parliament in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Further consideration of Britain's proposed new online safety law will be postponed after being dropped from the final week's business in parliament because of time pressure, the government said on Thursday.

The online safety law is aimed at punishing abuses such as child pornography, racism and violence against women, but it has drawn criticism from some lawmakers in the ruing Conservative Party for curtailing free speech.

It was dropped from next week's parliamentary business, which is the last one before it goes on a break on July 21.

"There (is) ... limited time and as the leader (of the House of Commons lower house of parliament) said this morning there are a wide-range of competing demands that need to be carefully considered before the house rises," a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The main opposition Labour Party has criticised the government for postponing the bill, which is at the report stage when lawmakers can discuss amendments, because it brought a no confidence vote in itself on Monday.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by William James)

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